U.S. government officials have narrowed their search for the cause of an ongoing multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7-related foodborne illnesses to chopped, bagged romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region. Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been impacted by this outbreak.
We are cooperating fully with government and working closely to further identify the specific source of this outbreak. Specifically, government officials are advising consumers not to consume chopped, bagged romaine grown in Yuma. At this time, this advisory only applies to chopped, bagged romaine, not other forms of romaine such as whole heads or hearts. This advisory also does not apply to romaine grown elsewhere, including California. Consumers may check with their retailer and/or restaurant to assist them in identifying product origin.
Nearly all of the romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the United States is from California growing areas, and is not implicated in the outbreak.
The leafy greens community takes the responsibility for producing fresh produce very seriously. Leafy greens food-safety programs in both California and Arizona are the most rigorous in today’s produce industry. Both programs include mandatory farm food safety practices, and frequent government audits to ensure those practices are being followed.
We will update you as more information becomes available. For the latest government information, please visit FDAand CDC websites.
Produce Marketing Association
Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement